Even a pen takes some time to come in its full flow, the same logic is applied to our life. Life does not show its charm until we face difficulties, actually it gets quite boring and the only thing we have to do is just bear with it. As I said, a new pen isn’t that smooth when we start writing with it but we just don’t throw it away, we bear with it, we tamper with it only then we get the fun of writing and just like that in our life we shouldn’t just give up in case we are facing any difficulties, we should, in fact, give this damn difficulty a difficult time only then we can know “What life actually is?”
Everyone has his own story or at least a made up one just to gain attention and sympathy but we really enjoy hearing it, don’t we? However in our life we come across many little big things that are stored somewhere safely in our memory palace, scientifically speaking, somewhere deep inside medial temporal lobe (Yeah! I googled it) and our brain is our main asset as well as a liability, we never know how it reacts or will react in some awkward situations and it’s that reaction that remains imprinted in our memory palace and we just like recalling it and embarrassing ourselves but as a matter of fact that feeling is just as cool as accidentally getting your pants torn in some humiliating place publicly and seeing that picture in social media every day you get up and of course reading the comments flooded in the notification bar. But no matter how we want to see life from a logical point of view it’s just impossible and quite impractical and especially for a boy who is too young to understand all these. It’s a story about a boy (Arnav) who came across traumatizing event in his life and left a deep painful imprint in his soft medial temporal lobe and as I said he was too young to understand all these motivation stuff, it became a psychological barrier to pursue his dream but he eventually learned to live with it and life is always unpredictable full of climaxes but as a matter of fact he eventually got what he wanted and you just have to figure it out, “What he wanted?”.
(Arnav… Arnav… Arnav… Arnav…)
A huge crowd of people cheering up for this young prodigy who won the Nobel prize for literature at only the age of 20. The stage glowing with vibrant colours seems as if it has become alive to felicitate this young talent with world’s most prestigious award. And among all these chaos and celebrations, Arnav approaches the stage with enigma and humility which seems to be acting as a shield for all these useless flattering and praises.
Yet for the sake of formality posing a smile thanking everyone for their support. Back to the moment again-
He goes on to the stage and with a loud applause from the crowd he receives the proud honour of being the Nobel laureate at such a young age. Behind the smile, he suppresses all his emotions and confusions that he is facing right now but he couldn’t stop that one drop of tear from coming out of the eye. However, he managed to get his eye off the crowd and cameras to hide his tears. Good for him, he prevented an emotional melodrama which is always entertaining to watch. The entire thing almost paused when he started speaking:
“Ahem… Ahem!! Well! Hello Everyone.”
He lifted up the prize and stared directly at the audience. The entire audience looked up as if he was now a role model for them. “I am truly overwhelmed by your support more than I am happy for receiving this honour. I won’t say anything long, because there is nothing to say, just two words, “Thank you.” But one thing I will like to tell, in fact a secret. Yeh kahawat toh suni hi hogi- “Kuch paane ke liye kuch khona padta hai.” The same thing happened in my life, but I didn’t lose something. I lost everything that mattered to me. My parents. I left home when I was 15. Yeah, it’s the truth. I left them to pursue my passion, but little did I know I’ll never see them again. “The prodigal son never returned.” When I came back, my parents had left that place for 4 years and I never found them. To my parents: Wherever you are, please come back. I need you.” (Abrupt ending to the speech.)
Suddenly, he turns back and started walking, a moment of silence in the crowd, and then a familiar feminine tone calling– Arnav… Arnav… Arnav! (Voice pitching up). Arnav stops and turns back and to his awe, it’s his mom. He stands there for a few seconds and then he fell down, unconscious. Everything goes pitch dark. But he could still hear the voice of his mom. (What!)
Then suddenly he felt a loud splash of water on his face. He hurriedly got up and sat up startled. He saw the entire crowd had disappeared and he was in shorts, all wet sitting on his bed.
“But how’s that even possible? I just received my Nobel prize?” he said to himself. He again heard his mom calling his name and only then he realized that it was just a dream. He smiled to himself and sat on his bed for a few minutes staring out of his bedside window, blankly looking at the rising sun, took some time to fully come out of his dream and face the harsh reality(At least he thought it to be harsh). He got out of his bed still having the hangover from the dream. And then he saw someone that made his dream harsher than the reality. His mother. He ran towards his mom and hugged her and wouldn’t leave her until his mother knelt down and kissed him. He smiled out of his own satisfaction (Not to please others).
Then, as usual, he rushed to the bathroom, completed all his daily routine, got ready for school. Then as usual ran for catching his school bus and shooo… there he goes by the same old routine.
Few days passed by. One evening while studying, suddenly he had an urge to write something and without wasting a moment he took out his writing diary which he had named ‘The Newbie’s Pen’ (TNP) and went from page to page, to another page his eyes scanning through all those words and letters he had put together to build his dream house of fantasies, stories, poems, some cute paintings and a lot more until he reached that barren page which has been opened several times in the last few months with an excitement to scribble something down to flush out those ideas tickling through the neurons but that page still remained as white and barren as infertile land. Monotonously gazing upon the pen’s tip to quench its thirst for ink being scribbled down as beautiful write-ups. Back to the moment. Excited to write something cool, Arnav opened that page but to his awe, all his excitement and anticipation vanished somewhere, all he had in his mind was confusion, anguish and disappointment. He stared blankly at the blank page waiting for ideas to come back to him, but they were lost somewhere in the past that was still haunting him that day. He closed the diary in disgust and went outside to have some fresh breeze as he was suffocating in his own past which he has failed to move on from.
He had failed to move on from his past, despite trying and having the greatest of will to do so. So how terrible could it have been, it is said it’s never as bad as it looks but only the one going through the situation must have the right to say how bad it is, or was, as the person looking might not be able to get the slightest idea of the mental trauma even a little thing can cause and Arnav was still just a school going kid whose father left home without any notice. His family just woke up one day and realized that his dad was missing and the missing dad never came back and it has already been two years. For a middle-class boy who dreamt of himself highly, or for a boy from any class, it would be shattering to experience a thing like that at such young age but it only added more to Arnav’s difficulties as he came from a middle-class family. Arnav and his mother were not even sure whether his father was alive or not. Since then Arnav has been facing bullies and being mocked about his dream. He wanted to be a writer but since that incident, his life had become as colourless as water. And the things that people at school and other places told, the gossips of his father leaving home and reasons behind it, everyone had their own terrible way of explaining what possibly could have been the reason and it just frustrated Arnav more. His mother was somehow able to keep things together and Arnav never stopped wondering how indifferent and insensitive people can be! How could he come up with an idea and write anything worthy in such a state of mind that was just getting worse by the day? But his dream of becoming a writer was so dear to him that not for a single moment he thought of giving up on that dream no matter what. It is during adversities that a person discovers his true self. Maybe this was that phase for Arnav? Maybe not. Who knows what future holds in it for him?
But Arnav was undoubtedly a stubborn soul when it came to giving up his dream of becoming a writer. He every day opened his diary and tried to pen something down, something creative, something beautiful, but regularly his mind would pour out the thoughts of his father, his friends calling him a loser, the difficulties his mother has been facing and he would helplessly abort the idea of writing and get up and get into the real world, for it was still better than the world inside his brains as it had become nothing but a collection of tragedies and bullies. Our minds can be our greatest enemies. And only support he had was of his mother, she did all she could to make Arnav and she never wanted her son to give up on his dream; life was tough for both of them. A bit tougher for his mother but they were living it. They had survived it for two years now and Arnav now believed in his dream more than he ever did. He had made up his mind that he will surely become a writer. He knew he had it in him. He knew he had some god gifted, prodigal talent when it came to literature and writing and he was not willing to let it go. Although he hasn’t moved on now Arnav had a deeper understanding of life and how it works. He was having thoughts about what if whatever happened, just happened so he could reach his destiny so he could embrace the goal he dreamt of just a night ago so that he could grow through the adversities he is facing currently. Well if a teenager of 7th or 8th grade is having thoughts like that, it is pretty evident that a huge transformation is going to happen. And the transformation is for good. But again, who knows what the future holds for Arnav?
As they say, some good things take time.
Well, Arnav was determined by now that he will pursue his passion, writing.
He kept writing short stories, articles, poems. He daily spent some time writing and carried out his studies too.
He also began writing a novel. Now writing gave him a happy space in his not so happening, dull and stressful life after his father’s departure. Class 10 boards were coming and Arnav now had to focus on his studies too. He was restricted to a very few hours in a day for his writing but he never stopped writing something up in his novel. He would always take some time daily apart from studies and wrote very passionately. He wanted his novel to be great. So that he can strike a chord in people’s mind after they read his novel.
He was managing his studies as well. He was not ignoring his studies and wanted to obtain good grades to get into a nice school better than his present school, a school where there is a platform, a chance to showcase his writing abilities, a school where many mature students study, who don’t bully him and make fun of his father leaving, his passion for writing and demotivate him to the ground to a point where he himself got stuck sometimes and felt he was no good.
Arnav just wanted to leave his traumatic past behind. Well, he did well in his boards and got into a decent school. The school was situated in another town quite far from where he was living now. But Arnav was happy about it as he wanted to go somewhere where no one knows about his traumatic past. He promised his mother to visit her every weekend. A new life started out for Arnav he was very happy, after a very long time. He made some good friends too who appreciated his work as well. He also kept visiting his mother on a daily basis. He was highly active in different writing competitions that were organized in his school and he won some of them as well.
Arnav got the encouragement and confidence he needed. He became confident that yes he is good at writing and he has made the right choice in pursuing his passion. One year went by like this.
Arnav and his mother both were happy. Also, Arnav didn’t stop writing the novel he started long back. He told his literature department in school about his novel. He requested them to take some time and pursue some printing companies for the publication once the novel is done, but only if they find his novel worth sharing. The literature department who already was quite impressed with Arnav’s work assured him that they will do anything they can do for him. Arnav decided to complete his novel before his 12th board exam and requested for the publication after his 12th boards. Well, came in the 12th boards and Arnav did well in his exams. He was among the top 10 toppers of his arts stream. His mother was filled with joy after hearing of his son’s achievement.
Arnav loved the way how his life took a complete U-turn, from a completely broken child to one of the toppers in his school. Arnav’s passion for writing was the catalyst in his whole journey, his writing was a support for him to grow out from the rough life he was facing back then.
Arnav completed his novel by then and for the last time entered his school premises for his novel. The school department as promised accepted his offer and they contacted several publishers. They found potential in Arnav’s story and really thought to invest in it. Arnav decided to spend some more time in the town till he gets a word from his school.
Arnav was happy. He sometimes thought how come everything turned out so perfect for him and will this happiness last for long?
One day all of a sudden Arnav’s greatest fear which haunted him for many nights came right onto him. He received a call from his mother about his father. She told him his father has come to see them and wanted to meet him. Arnav was angry, he was very angry. Why has he come now? Where was he all these days when he and his mother were left with nothing? Why did he leave them in such a poor state?
Arnav was angry, anxious, multiple emotions were grinding around his brain in his way back home. He didn’t know what he will do, how he will react, the six hours journey of the bus was the most stressful six hours in his whole life. His father had come back after 6 long years, and for what? He needed an explanation.
Finally, he reached home. There was his father, with his mother crying in the corner. Arnav couldn’t control himself and shouted at his father for what has he come back. He was getting more aggressive until his mother held him and calmed him and asked him to settle down.
His mother told him to just listen for once what his father has to say. His father removed the cap he was wearing exposing his bald head. Arnav was shocked. His father held Arnav’s hand and said that he knows all his aggression is justified. But he was scared. He was scared of the reaction of his family after they found out their head of the family had cancer and had just a few years left to live. He might have been a coward but he was frightened and to run away from them was the easiest escape he could think of. He is sorry and requested for forgiveness from them. Arnav and his father along with his mother were crying now. The whole family started crying in arms of each other.
Suddenly a call came in after some time. It was from the school. A leading publisher has accepted to publish Arnav’s book and they are even willing to pay him as the sales will go up. Arnav informed this to his parents. His father hugged Arnav tightly, his mother joined them too. The whole family was happy after a very long time.
Afterwards, Arnav told his father about his struggles, his experiences and his journey. His father also shared the chemotherapy experience he had to go through but all the treatment was in vain. There was a smile on everyone’s face. Arnav just wanted to cherish the last moments with his father.
He was now even more determined to become a successful writer.
Yeah that’s what we human beings are, always mourning about what happened in the past, yeah as it was said in some part of the story that others can never have the slightest of the idea in the mind of the one going through all these so-called pain but mourning about it and ruining your present for which I am damn right you are going to repent in future isn’t logical in any part of the entire multiverse. Yeah all that melodramatic emotional advice of moving on is not going to work on you but guess what I have a new idea just let the pain be as it is, enjoy it, feel it like it’s kind of a new stuff you just experienced, just live with it and just to comfort you think of it like this: There are more people facing much more pain I am going through right now. Motivation comes from small things around you and as it is said by the greatest philosophical minds on the Earth, “Nature is the best Teacher.” You just have to pretend to be like Sherlock Holmes and search for it (Although logically speaking Sherlock Holmes deduction skills were, of course, a bit exaggerated by Arthur Conan Doyle.)
Life is as it is and it hates to be tampered with but likes it when it’s challenged.
“However did you figure it out what he wanted??”
Life: To be continued…….
– Anshuman Parhi
– Ashutosh Bahadur Singh
– Rishu Verma
– Aritri Saha